Letter from the Executive Vice President
I am pleased to present the University of Notre Dame's Sustainability Report highlighting our many accomplishments throughout calendar year 2018. This report honors our commitment to share progress towards the commitments outlined in our Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy.
Our approach has always been and remains grounded in our Catholic mission with respect for the human condition, respect for our natural resources, and economic viability. I encourage you to visit green.nd.edu to stay up to date on upcoming sustainability initiatives and events.
Energy & Emissions
Our Utilities Department continues to exceed its aspiration path for reducing our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 83 percent per gross square foot from 2005 levels by 2050. We accomplish this through moving to less carbon-intensive fuels, increasing renewable sources of energy, and leading the way in energy conservation and efficiency.
- A planned 2.25 MW hydroelectric project on the St. Joseph River will provide 7% of campus electricity needs once operational in late-2020.
- Installed at East Plant 4,000 tons of electric driven chilled water capacity, 1,350 tons of geothermal capacity and 6,000 tons of thermal (chilled water) storage. On campus we have a total of 2,650 tons of geothermal capacity.
- Electrical consumption was 14.25 kilowatt hours per square foot in 2018, down 5.8 percent from 2017.
Renewable energy projects already installed:
- A 50kW solar panel system donated by GE on the roof of Stinson-Remick Hall, providing an estimated 55,000 kwh annually.
- A 10kW flexible thin-film solar array donated by Inovateus Solar on the roof of Fitzpatrick Hall.
- A 4kW vertical wind turbine on the roof of the power plant.
- A 144.72kW ground-mounted solar system installed at the Kenmore Warehouse (pictured below).
Achieved our goal to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 percent (per square foot) by 2030. Exceeding our planned aspiration path will enable the University of Notre Dame to reduce emissions by 83 percent by 2050 and eventually become carbon neutral.
The University of Notre Dame has accelerated progress towards its goal set in 2015 to cease burning coal in five years by investing in energy decarbonization. We plan to reach this goal one year ahead of schedule in 2019. This significant emissions reduction was made possible through the extensive work of the Utilities Department implementing numerous renewable energy projects, energy conservation infrastructure, and temperature set point throughout campus. Additional renewable energy projects will enable the University of Notre Dame to reach its long-range goal ahead of schedule.
The University of Notre Dame is blessed with bountiful water resources and has implemented strategies to exercise good stewardship. In order to set a campus-wide water conservation goal, we have begun evaluating our water use so that we can compare our consumption to that of other institutions.
- 50 water meters were installed across campus, enabling the University to start tracking consumption and set water conservation goals.
- Production well meters were installed at 7 locations to monitor water supplied from the domestic water system.
- Campus-wide irrigation improvements championed by Landscape Services have resulted in a reduction of 244 million gallons a year. That is enough to fill St. Mary's Lake 15 times and equates to a 50 percent reduction in landscape water usage over the past 10 years.
The University has installed five native planting areas across campus that improve water conservation and provide vital ecosystem habitats. Signage will be installed in 2019 highlighting the benefits of native plantings.
Building & Construction
The University of Notre Dame designs its buildings with long-lasting energy and resource needs in mind. Before building any new building, efficient space utilization is considered. Incorporation of sustainability into our permanent design standards has allowed us to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification standards in 14 campus buildings, including 9 gold certifications and 5 silver certifications with an additional 3 buildings pending certification.
- In 2018, Jenkins & Nanovic Halls received LEED silver certification and McCourtney Hall received LEED gold certification.
- All new construction projects are designed to meet, at a minimum, the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED silver certification standards at the time of construction.
- Over 96 percent of construction-related waste was diverted from landfills.
- Energy-efficient LED lighting was used in 95 percent of new construction spaces.
The University of Notre Dame is home to five living roofs including the largest green roof in Indiana and largest of any U.S. college or University
The Joyce Center green roof measures 79,096 square feet. Morris Inn, Corbett Family Hall, Duncan Student Center, and O'Neill Hall also have living roofscapes bringing the University's total green roofscape to over 122,000 square feet. Green roofs conserve energy, reduce runoff, improve roof longevity, and reduce noise and air pollution, and are visually stunning.
The University of Notre Dame has worked diligently to reduce campus waste in support of its long range goal to divert from the landfill 67 percent of all waste by 2030. Overhauling the recycling program as well as identifying sources of contamination has enabled the diversion of over 1,600 tons from the landfill.
- A new recycling program was implemented to improve the cleanliness of campus recycling. Clean cardboard, aluminum, glass, and plastics #1-6 can still be placed in single stream recycling.
- Two recycling videos were developed to educate campus about the new recycling program on what is recyclable and what is trash. The videos also discouraged aspirational recycling and answered the question: "Can I Recycle That?"
- Campus wide e-mails, articles, Town Hall slides, trash talk events, and signage were developed in support of the new recycling program.
- Game Day Recycling had over 140 volunteers distribute over 8,500 bags to improve tailgate recycling during football season.
- A capital investment was made in a Food Waste Solution, Grind2Energy. Once installed, Grind2Energy will divert approximately 400 tons of food waste from the Center for Culinary Excellence, North Dining Hall, and South Dining Hall to be converted into renewable electricity.
- A student-led research project resulted in the procurement and installation of a water-bottle station at DeBartolo Hall, one of the University's largest academic buildings.
Procurement, Licensing, and Food Sourcing
- All requests for proposal contain a sustainability clause to increase and encourage the purchase of more sustainable products and/or services.
- Green Loan Funding brought the "OZZI" reusable food container system to North Dining Hall's Marketplace to reduce single-use disposable containers while serving quick and nutritious meals.
- North Dining Hall was awarded 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant Status earning 135 points in a range of criteria including energy efficiency of appliances, menu offerings, waste, and use of chemicals.
- 23 percent of dining menus are plant based.
- Through careful decision-making with our food suppliers Gordon Food Services (GFS) and Stanz, 33.4 percent of products were sourced from Michigan, Indiana, or within 250 miles of campus.
As we move into 2019 and beyond, we continue to explore and take action to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste and achieve resource conservation.
- Continue to diversify our energy portfolio by exploring additional renewable and recoverable energy sources.
- Install Grind2Energy systems and divert 400+ tons of food waste, which will avoid 275 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere while generating 70,000 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity.
- Continue to construct all new building to a minimum LEED silver certification requirements.
- Commission chilled water pumping station for 2019 cooling season.
- Roll out water dashboard, evaluate consumption, and develop water conservation goals.
- Host planned Sustainability Seminar Series and explore continuation.
- Implement planning for a university-wide academic conference focused on Sustainability.
- Review of campus-wide printing and printer fleet to reduce overall print volume and environmental impact.